If you shed a silent tear when King West hotspot Valdez closed its doors, we have good news for you.
In case you haven’t heard, there’s a new Latin American-inspired spot from the same team – and it’s becoming one of the hottest places to hit King St. since, well, Valdez.
The 4000 square-foot, three-story spot has a little something for everyone – the foodies craving a quality meal, the raw bar-lovers, the elite late-night cocktail sippers and the refined party-throwers.
Through a tunnel-like arched entrance, the main floor features an open kitchen with seating, a bar lined with bar stools and a 90-seat dining room that has remained full since Baro opened its doors earlier this month.
It’s lined with Amazon-inspired greenery and eclectic decor.
Some of the crowd-pleasing favourites served up by Chef Steve Gonzalez and his team – like the assortment of ceviche, the chorizo with arepitas and empanadas – have found their way down King St. from the former Valdez to the new spot. Other menu favourites include things like guava chicken wings, the dunk confit-filled chaufa and a whole branzino fish, just to name a few.
Baro is full of interesting (and photo-worthy) talking points, like custom mural art in stairways that pays homage to Mexico and freedom, and is designed by local Toronto artists.
A second-floor raw bar and lounge features everything from oysters and albacore tuna to mozzarella sticks. Naturally, they also offer sides of the same highly addictive guacamole with mixed root vegetable chips that you’ll find downstairs. With its sexy lighting and low tables, this space offers a bit of a New York or Chicago vibe – perfect for post-dinner drinks or after-work snacks.
Tucked behind this is the hangout for the cool kids – the password-protected Escobar, an invite-only lounge.
Here, lounging on the retro couches, some of the city’s finest will mingle over cocktails created by seasoned bar manager Wes Galloway, who has been recognized with numerous awards for his skills in creating incredible cocktails for any palette. A well-curated cocktail menu features both familiar favourites and South American-inspired house specialties, like the palette-pleasing “Baro Sour” or the “Iron Tyrant,” which is designed to “age” as the ice melts.
Baro also houses no shortage of Latin American spirits.
On the third floor is Loft, an 1850 square foot event space with a raw, brick-and-beam, urban vibe that will surely become a hot-ticket venue space, offering a blank canvas for everything from a media product launch to a birthday party.
Finally, the spot features a yet-to-open all-season patio similar to the one you probably got drunk on tequila at in the Valdez days (but you’ve grown up since then, right?).